Venezuela Bans Coke Zero

The AP is reporting that Venezuela has banned Coke Zero because the company allegedly didn’t declare a potentially harmful artificial sweetener when it “received its initial health permit to begin selling the product in April.”

Coke denies that the sweetener in question, sodium cyclamate, is even in the beverage. Sodium cyclamate is legal in Venezuela, but not in the U.S.

The AP says:

The U.S. prohibits the use of cyclamates in human food because of health safety concerns. Sales of Coca-Cola Zero elsewhere in Latin America have met with resistance over the sweetener’s use.

But Rosy Alvarez, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Coca-Cola Zero sold in Venezuela uses other artificial sweeteners.

“No ingredient of Coca-Cola Zero is harmful to peoples’ health,” she said

The Venezuelan government says that tests show Coke Zero contains the sweetener.

Venezuela Bans Coca-Cola [MyFoxAtlanta]

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  1. SnoopyFish says:

    That’s rather strange. Either Coke is full of BS, or the Venezuelan scientists are really bad at what they do.

    • Saboth says:

      @SnoopyFish: Given their anti-american stances and whatnot, I’d have to go with Coke on this one. Probably trying to find a way to steal coke’s factories over there. “We must co-opt these American Pig’s factories for the peoples!”

      • veg-o-matic says:

        @Saboth: Given Coke’s propensity for BS, I’m going to have to go with Venezuela on this one.

      • youbastid says:

        @Saboth: Their anti-american stance? What, with their government offering free heating oil to poor Americans in the winter when prices were through the roof? Yeah, they really hate us big time.

        • Megalomania says:

          @youbastid: If I may quote the president of Venezuala; “[Venezuela has] a strong oil card to play on the geopolitical stage … It is a card that we are going to play with toughness against the toughest country in the world, the United States.”

          Hugo Chavez is a dictator who uses nationalization to silence dissent while claiming it’s just a part of improving the country. As Venezuala is an OPEC member that was in part responsible for those through the roof prices, giving back some small portion of those profits was entirely an attempt to goad the US government and issue some “socialist” (the country is not legitimately socialist) propaganda.

        • Rugbydan says:

          @youbastid: If you think they do it out of any legitimate concern for poor Americans, you are on extremely good drugs.

          They could, in fact, worry about the truly poor in their own country. Ahhh, nothing like fresh radical dictators in the morning.

        • kylere says:

          @youbastid: That was an interesting propaganda move, wasn’t it. Of course, it was merely propaganda.

    • wvFrugan says:

      @SnoopyFish:
      How about both are full of BS?

    • Grive says:

      @SnoopyFish: Coke is full of BS, there’s no doubt.

      They did the same thing in Mexico, and the public reaction was bad enough for them to change the formula, and now coke zero bottles have a “now without cyclamates” tag, or something of the sort.

      Heck, they got burned bad, because the rumor spread and eventually tagged Diet Coke too, even though that one had nothing to do with it.

      @youbastid: Erm, read a bit. The administration hates the US with a passion. It’s painfully obvious.

      Even that move was a political ploy to throw propaganda against the US government. “Even we can provide what the US can’t”.

      • youbastid says:

        @Grive: @Megalomania: The Venezuelan administration hates (or hated) the American administration. Not the American people. Many people make the mistake of equating contention against their government as contention against their person, but considering many of us have those same contentions against the way the US gov’t does things, we shouldn’t be so quick to just label countries with opposing viewpoints as “America haters.” That’s soooo October 2001.

        • Rugbydan says:

          @youbastid: I do see a lot of you hating on pretty much everything involving the American government. I mean, I can’t stand the lot of them either, but I’m know I’m better off here than in Venezuela.

        • DrGirlfriend says:

          @youbastid: If you know anything about Chavez, you know he didn’t do that out of the goodness of his heart. He made that offer because he thought it would shame the US government in the eyes of the world.

          • youbastid says:

            @DrGirlfriend: I’m well aware of this, and we give aid to certain countries for the sole purpose of making ourselves look good/shaming others too. So I’ll ask again, does that somehow make it not count? Are the people that receive the aid worse off for it because of ulterior motives?

            • Grive says:

              @youbastid: Not the people who benefit from it, but you can’t say Venezuela is chums with the US, since the intent is shaming the US government.

              It’s like a divorced dad giving his kid a puppy just because he knows it’ll bother his ex. It’s really hard to make the case that the best interests of the kid (and the family) were in his mind in such a gift, even if the kid loves the dog.

        • Grive says:

          @youbastid: My intent was to imply that. It’s why I said “US government” in the second paragraph. Missed that in the first one, though, so I see why it might seem I meant the US population in general.

  2. lpranal says:

    why didn’t they just make it the same as in the US, with sucralose? licensing issues?

    • Etoiles says:

      @lpranal: It’s not sucralose in the US, it’s aspartame. At least, it was last time I looked.

      (I have adverse reactions to aspartame, don’t particularly enjoy water, and have to count calories fairly strictly, so I’m always on the lookout for sucralose-based beverages I can sip in the afternoon.)

      • lpranal says:

        @Etoiles: right you are, sort of. thanks to wikipedia for a ridiculous amount of detailed information on the subject:

        [en.wikipedia.org]

        china uses sucralose. I try to avoid aspartame also, just because it tastes so synthetic. I guess I assumed it was sucralose because coke zero actually tastes kind of good (compared to diet coke)

      • Smashville says:

        @Etoiles: You’re correct. It’s still aspartame. The question is…aside from the taste, why did Coca Cola feel the need to create a second aspartame sweetened diet brand?

        • KHook321 says:

          @Smashville: Coke Zero is billed as a zero calorie soft drink for men. It’s the same reason Pepsi recently released Pepsi Max. I guess they don’t get enough males purchasing the normal Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi brands.

          • Smashville says:

            @KHook321: Pepsi Max does have extra caffeine…or at least it was billed as that when it came out…as far as I can tell, Diet Coke and Coke Zero have no differing qualities other than marketing (and one is delicious and the other is only good with alcohol).

            • Hirayuki says:

              @Smashville: Pepsi Max has extra caffeine (46 mg vs. 25 mg) and ginseng, but Pepsi One (their Coke Zero equivalent) is not billed as a supercharged soda. As it happens, it does fall between Pepsi and Pepsi Max in caffeine content.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          @Smashville: Coke Zero is based on the same formula as Coca-Cola Classic, while Diet Coke is based on the same formula as New Coke. Diet Coke tastes like arse because New Coke tasted like arse.

          • Smashville says:

            @AstroPig7: I guess they can’t publicly say that because it would hurt Diet Coke…

          • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

            @AstroPig7:
            No… Diet Coke was not based on New Coke. New Coke was based on Diet Coke. Diet Coke came out first. Diet Coke was stealing market share from Coke because people preferred the taste of Diet Coke. Coke was in danger of no longer being the number 1 soft drink because of competition from Diet Coke. So they change the formula of Coke to taste more like Diet Coke – and more like Pepsi. And in taste tests people preferred the taste of New Coke, but when they released it people were pissed.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              @Cant_stop_the_rock:

              I don’t know where that information comes from. I don’t know of a single person that prefers the horrific taste of Diet Coke to Coke Classic.

              The only reason I drink Coke Zero is because it tastes like a Diet Coke/Coke Clasic mix, cutting the edge off the horrific Diet Coke aftertaste. Well, that, and it cuts 500+ calories off my daily intake without costing me caffeine.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              @Cant_stop_the_rock: Ah, so vice versa. Regardless, it tastes bad.

        • Doreen DelPurgatorio says:

          @Smashville: Coke zero is the diet version of coca cola classic. Diet coke is the diet version of “new coke.” No joke.

        • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

          @Smashville:
          Why do they need a reason aside from the taste? Isn’t taste the reason why most people pick a beverage?

      • mmmsoap says:

        @Etoiles: My understanding is that it’s actually a combo of aspartame (Equal) and acesulfame potassium (not sold under a specific brand name) and/or possibly saccharin (Sweet’n’Low) or sucralose (Splenda).

        The general idea being that using a bit of each to sweeten it lowers the detectable aftertaste of any, while still being low/no-cal overall.

        This combo is what makes Coke Zero (and the corresponding product, Pepsi Max) different than straight up Diet Coke, or even Diet Coke with Splenda.

      • tsume says:

        @Etoiles: Our Wal-Mart supercenter and Sams Club both have a HUGE selection of Diet-Rite sodas which are ALL sweetened with Splenda and taste very good. If you haven’t, you should check it out!

        *sips on his Diet Rite white grape*

      • kateblack says:

        @Etoiles:
        Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame.
        Coke Zero is sweetened with Acesulfame-K. [ [en.wikipedia.org] ]

        I get violent headaches if I drink Acesulfame-K. Took me a while to figure it out, because I rarely drink commercial soda, but I finally realized Coke Zero was NOT the same as Diet Coke.

        If you’re watching calories or chemicals, SodaStream makes a machine that allows you to carbonate tap water. Then you can make sodas at home out of anything.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      @lpranal: A few years ago, Coke Zero was made with sucralose/Splenda. But about 2006 or 07, Coke removed the Splenda, replacing it with acesulfame K and aspartame. I liked it better with the Splenda.

    • golddog says:

      @lpranal: With all due respect to the Wik, confirmed at coke’s website…

      In the US:

      Diet Coke is aspartame.
      Coke Zero is ace-k and aspartame.
      Diet Coke w/Splenda is sucralose and ace-k

    • BertMask says:

      @lpranal: Coke Zero is far superior to Diet Coke. There’s only a slight difference with Coke and Coke Zero.

      Donno why the chemicals make it taste so much better, but they do. Sweet, tasty, burning chemicals.

  3. Smashville says:

    “No ingredient of Coca-Cola Zero is harmful to peoples’ health,” she said.

    Quick! Someone drink 300 of them and have your heirs get a lawyer!

  4. diasdiem says:

    This is just going to be an excuse for Hugo Chavez to nationalize the Venezuelan soft drink industry.

  5. Nighthawke says:

    That reeks of politics more than anything else.

  6. synergy says:

    Sodium cyclamate is legal in Venezuela, but not in the U.S.

    I’m confused. It’s legal in Venezuela, but they flake out that the Coke might have a “potentially harmful artificial sweetener” in it? If it’s a problem, why is it allowed to be used?

  7. Bryan Fernandez says:

    Coke Zerooo is sooo gooood. It’s compelling to write sooo many ooooos. The McD’s in Spain have them on tap.

  8. TripleTheOrder_GitEmSteveDave says:

    From what I understand, we use Corn Syrup b/c other countries put high tariffs on their sugar b/c we have high tariffs on our corn. So it’s more economical for them to use real sugar instead of corn syrup and vice versa. Could this be along the same lines to protest them not using sugar to get around a tariff?

  9. Smashville says:

    They shouldn’t even be drinking mass manufactured soft drinks. What a waste of money/health/economy/other blame the victim statement.

    I make my own homemade Pepsi with organic ingredients that I grow in the yard from seeds that I find in the woods because I don’t buy mass manufactured seeds.

    My homemade Mountain Dew is fantastic…I have a secret ingredient to give it the yellow color.

  10. TedSez says:

    If this Wikipedia chart is correct, Coke Zero contains sodium cyclamate in many countries, including Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Costa Rica.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    And according to another Wikipedia page, despite the controversy over its safety, cyclamate is permitted in quite a few countries — in Canada, it’s the active ingredient in Sweet’n Low (because they banned saccharin).

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    If they made a non-carbonated version of Coke Zero I would forgo water.

  12. sharkzfanz says:

    It is in cokes best interest to not lie since if they do they will have much more issues in the US.

  13. Zombini says:

    Fortunately, Nuka-Cola Quantum is freely available in Venezuela.

  14. H3ion says:

    This is the same political ploy that Chavez has been playing with other US companies. He has to be seen as being anti-US to maintain any semblance of legitimacy. It’s funny to note that Citgo, owned lock, stock and barrel by the Venezuelan government, is heavily advertising that it is a local company in ads around the US.

    When all else fails, blame the gringos.

    • thereij says:

      @H3ion:

      Here’s a mind-buster for you: Citgo gasoline is sold aboard many US Military Bases.

      • H3ion says:

        @thereij: I don’t remember where I read this or if it’s even right, but Venezeula is our second largest source of oil, right behind the Saudis.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @H3ion:

      Citgo doesn’t advertise that it is a local company, at all.

      They advertise that each individual station is locally owned and operated, which is entirely factual, and don’t even imply that the company is based in the US.

      • H3ion says:

        @RvLeshrac: Technically, you’re right but the ad is pure Mom and apple pie and there’s an implication that it is Americana at its best. Between Citgo and Lukoil, I don’t know where to burn my money. Maybe I’ll just stick with Shell and support the Dutch.

    • Saisu Mimen says:

      @H3ion: “When all else fails, blame the gringos. “

      Unless you get your oil directly from Alaska or Texas, (which doesn’t really happen any more) you can bet that the money you spend on gas and oil-based products benefits either Chavez, Saudi-funded terrorists, or arm-chopping-and-little-girl-raping African militias.

  15. I Love New Jersey says:

    Sounds like someone didn’t pay tribute to Hugo.

    • Hoss says:

      @I Love New Jersey: I trust and believe our combined judgment since New Jersey was recently given an Island by Chavez, and I know this government will declare anything improper as long as the declaration benefits it’s leaders Such a shame for a lovely country…

  16. Meathamper says:

    Them Venezuelans have got one thing right. This stuff sucks.

  17. suburbancowboy says:

    “No ingredient of Coca-Cola Zero is harmful to peoples’ health,”

    Really? The product contains Acesulfame K, and Aspartame.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the Searle corporation (now part of Monsanto, the most evil corporation on the planet) had incredible lobbying power, and a CEO by the name of Donald Rumsfeld, Aspartame would not be legal in the US for use in beverages. In fact, the National Beverage Association said it should not be legal.

    Aspartame has about 50 known side effects. It potentially causes brain tumors. It also causes weight gain, short term memory problems etc etc etc.

    Acesulfame K has several negative side effects as well.

    There is no safe Artificial sweetener. This drink is not safe for human consumption, with or without sodium cyclamate.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      @suburbancowboy:

      The NBA said aspartame shouldn’t be legal? Wow, that’s not what this says:

      [www.ameribev.org]

    • Andrey Goder says:

      @suburbancowboy: Everything you said about aspartame is patently false. Learn some basic chemistry.

      • suburbancowboy says:

        @Andrey Goder: Well since your response is chock full of evidence that proves me wrong without a doubt, I’ll go and start drinking tons of the shit right now.

        [www.rense.com]

        Everything I said is false?
        Monsanto isn’t the most evil corporation on the planet?
        Donald Rumsfeld wasn’t CEO of Searle?
        How would basic chemistry prove me wrong?
        Aspartame is a chemical which may be causing tumors. If your expansive knowledge of chemistry can prove that Aspartame is safe, you must know an awful lot about cancer. Maybe you should get off of facebook and give us all the cure we are waiting for.
        Until then, I will certainly be avoiding anything with aspartame in it.

        Plus it tastes like ass.

        • Mike_Hawk says:

          @suburbancowboy: “Aspartame is a chemical which may be causing tumors. If your expansive knowledge of chemistry can prove that Aspartame is safe, you must know an awful lot about cancer. Maybe you should get off of facebook and give us all the cure we are waiting for.”

          You might want to brush up on your scientific method good sir. Just because you said something, and quoted the website of Jeff Rense ( For those that are not aware of who Jeff Rense is, Rense’s radio program and website, Rense.com cover subjects such as 9/11 conspiracy theories, UFO reporting, paranormal phenomena, Holocaust denial,Zionism, possible evidence of advanced ancient technology) does not mean you have proved anything. You have no right demanding evidence from others if the best you can muster for your own defense is the ramblings of a nut job that believes the Jews are trying to murder us all.

          Find a peer-reviewed scientific journal and then we can talk.

  18. GriffonJames says:

    It’s just an extortion ploy. To do business in Venezuela, ya’ gotta pay to play.

  19. Andrey Goder says:

    In the battle of dictators and multinational corporations, I’m going to have to side with the corporation. At least they actually want me alive…

  20. CarbonFiberFootprint says:

    Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.

    A fat intelligent person knows better than to buy into this marketing garbage.

    An athletic stupid person even knows that your body processes this abhorrent chemical into glucose which your body assimilates in the same manner as sugar, just with a lot of additional adverse health effects.

    Only the perspective of a fat and stupid person could actually find any benefit to this toxic sugar water.

    The coke shareholders appreciate the ignorance though.

    “Find a peer-reviewed scientific journal and then we can talk. ” – Yeah, an established scientist knows that is the fast track for career advancement…

    You’re an idiot.

  21. MissPiss says:

    What about HFCS? Is that not harmful?